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Onsite Vans – great cheap family holiday option or living hell not on wheels?

By rosebud - 14 March 2009 15

You’ve seen the ads – on-site van for sale, great for kids, low cost, close to beach etc.

But what am I NOT being told?

Are the sellers selling these items with rose coloured glasses welded on? Can you really get great family holidays each year during peak season right on the beach with dog friendly hot and cold running everything for a purchase price of $6000? Huh? Tell me I’m dreamin’.

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15 Responses to
Onsite Vans – great cheap family holiday option or living hell not on wheels?
vg 10:13 pm 16 Mar 09

We stay in an onsite cabin owned by someone else down the coast. We pay them a nominal ‘rent’ which helps them with their annual costs. The park we stay in is brilliant. Clean, magnificently maintained, and any loud and disruptive clients get the ass very quickly. Depending on the park the experience is just as good, if not better, than a rental house. The park provides us with very good security and the kids chave plenty of room for play

Furry Jesus 10:01 pm 16 Mar 09

lisagrace said :

Some can be very hobo, while some can be very fancy … I’ve had a look at what you would get for $6000, and it’s definatley on the hobo end of the scale.

Hmmm, Have a bad experience with an indigent person when you were young, did you? I like hanging out at the hobo end myself, and on occasion have been known to get very hobo. I’ve even been contemplating a weekend retreat at a coastal park, bringing together a group of unhappy people who need help getting in touch with their inner hobo (or swaggie, if you’re an older Australian).

rosebud 9:30 pm 16 Mar 09

It’s a tough call… The thought of other people’s hair in the drain for weeks at a time, year after year. And yet the idea of ‘village’ of holiday makers all with kids and similar ideas of what makes a good family holiday, that is very enticing. I can’t decide which way the scale is tipping yet.

lisagrace 12:22 pm 16 Mar 09

It is actually a really good alternative to a very expensive coast house. Hubby and I have a permanant van in Bermagui, we own it in thirds with his brother and his Mum. We divide all the annual costs into thirds which makes it alot more manageable.

We actually don’t pay at all when we stay, however if we let friends or family use it they pay a couple of dollars per person per night.

Our van is very close to the toilet/shower block and they are kept very clean which is good, we also have a toilet in the van which is a bonus.

Some can be very hobo, while some can be very fancy – ours is somewhere in the middle at the moment, but another 12 months and a few thousand to add a nice outdoor area, repaint the interior and some new lounge rooms furniture should make it that bit more comfortable.

Sepi is right – you are looking at about $20,000 for an onsite van with annex, bathroom, toilet, heating and outdoor area, in a good spot. I’ve had a look at what you would get for $6000, and it’s definatley on the hobo end of the scale.

peterh 12:08 pm 16 Mar 09

Furry Jesus said :

GnT said :

It depends on whether they have a bathroom. The ones without can be really cheap, but can you imagine slogging to the amenities block for a shower and s**t every day?

I can imagine. Nothing better than the smell of a hundred other people’s poo and the carpet of strangers’ pubic hair in the shower drain to make for a memorable holiday. Bring the grandparents.

I went to north durras for years with my parents, we had an onsite van that we got really cheap, and would slog to the amentities block every night for a shower. never worried me, since the same happens at a campsite or van park, and if you are slow at getting into the park, the only sites left are usually next to the toilet block anyway.

great friends, great memories. best time for a kid growing up.
you do have to pay for the annual fee, and the number of people who are staying, but, as durras north was down a dirt road, there weren’t many yobbos, and it was a really good atmosphere…

Furry Jesus 11:51 am 16 Mar 09

GnT said :

It depends on whether they have a bathroom. The ones without can be really cheap, but can you imagine slogging to the amenities block for a shower and s**t every day?

I can imagine. Nothing better than the smell of a hundred other people’s poo and the carpet of strangers’ pubic hair in the shower drain to make for a memorable holiday. Bring the grandparents.

GnT 9:44 am 16 Mar 09

It depends on whether they have a bathroom. The ones without can be really cheap, but can you imagine slogging to the amenities block for a shower and s**t every day?

grunge_hippy 7:17 pm 14 Mar 09

i think the fact that you feel obligated to holiday there every time because you are paying for it limiting. I like to go to different places and not the same place every time. But I have had friends who basically grew up down the coast on summer holidays and had a great time, met lifelong friends because of it. it also depends on the park… some are full of people that you wouldnt necessarily be neighbours with at home!!

realityskin 7:16 pm 14 Mar 09

ant said :

Van parks are great if you have young kids, as everyone’s close by, they form up with the other kids and have a great time. It’s also good if you like being social, hanging with the other park residents etc.

It’s a bit like having a coast house, however van parks are often better located, on lakes, the beach, inlets etc.

+1

tastyjam 6:55 pm 14 Mar 09

I lived in narooma (popular grounds for these on-site vans) and worked at Narooma Cinema since a year ago. Talked to a lot of tourists. Their general opinion of these vans was pretty positive, sure as hell wasn’t the ritz but it wasn’t a ghetto either.

Thumper 6:48 pm 14 Mar 09

Living hell.

old canberran 6:23 pm 14 Mar 09

My best mate has had a van in a park at Narooma for years. As Ant says, it’s like having a home on the coast. We did a similar thing for nearly 20 years with our van but it was moveable in and out of storage at the park. We used it all year round almost every other weekend.
What may be a good idea for some doesn’t necessarily suit others. It depends what sort of a lifestyle you want. Some people have a permanent van in a park on the coast and then use it as a retirement home. Some parks don’t permit permanent residence though.

ant 5:39 pm 14 Mar 09

Van parks are great if you have young kids, as everyone’s close by, they form up with the other kids and have a great time. It’s also good if you like being social, hanging with the other park residents etc.

It’s a bit like having a coast house, however van parks are often better located, on lakes, the beach, inlets etc.

emd 3:32 pm 14 Mar 09

One of the big downsides is that you commit to spending most of your holidays in the same location each time, to get value from what you’re spending for the annual park fees.
Maybe better to buy a caravan and just pay site fees when you visit a caravan park, so you can be flexible about where you holiday.

sepi 2:58 pm 14 Mar 09

You still pay a weekly fee, to upkeep the spot – like a body corporate almost, or a serviced apartment.

And you also pay a small amount per person per night when you do stay.

But otherwise, I think it is a great thing to have.

I read that holiday homes and coastal property is going down in price, as people are selling off these little extras as times get tougher. So it is supposed to be a good time to buy if you have the money.

I’ve only seen the vans for more like 20 thou tho. 6000.00 is probably a fair distance away, or down a long dirt road or something.

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